How-to back up your iWeb

Since I published my post on what iWeb 09 had in store for us when it is released later this month I have received loads of e-mails asking me whether or not users will be able to just upgrade and carry on where they left off. To be honest, the answer is a little unclear.

I installed iWorks 09 on my Macbook and that installed alongside iWorks 08 rather than upgraded it, so whether or not iLife 09 will do the same is still yet to be seen. One thing is for certain though, if you don’t back up your iWeb 08 files and following the install of iWeb 09 you can’t find them, getting your site back could end up being a nightmare.

Obviously, you shouldn’t just wait for a new version of iWeb to come out everytime you back up your site, you should do it as a matter of course, regularly; but here is how you go about it.

Open ‘Finder’ and select your home folder on the left hand side.

Select the ‘Library’ folder followed by the ‘Application Support’ folder.

Next, click on the ‘iWeb’ folder and you should find a file called ‘Domain’.

Right-click (CTRL-Click) on the Domain file and choose ‘Duplicate’ from the drop-down menu that appears.


A ‘Domain Copy’ file will now appear. All you have to do now is put it somewhere safe such as an external drive or USB stick and you will be backed up (until the next time you change your site – of course).

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  1. I read inside Apple’s iWeb Support page you should also open the Information menu for the Domain.sites2 file and tick the Ownership & Permissions: triangle to insure Read & Write status to Owner, Group, and Others. Not doing so and putting that file on another computer and it won’t open. I changed my Group and Others permissions from Read Only to Read and Write status, though I don’t have another computer to experiment on and to test whether the file will function if transferred or not though.

    1. Kurt,

      Thanks for your comment. What you said is indeed true if you want transfer your ‘Domain’ file to another Mac but if you just want to back it up and aren’t reinstalling OS X there is no need to change the permissions. The ‘.sites2’ file you refer to relates to the fact you are using iWeb 08. Users of iWeb 06 will just see a file.


  2. Good news.. kinda.. I just installed iWeb 09 and you don’t even need to make a backup of the domain file (although it’s still recommended) because iWeb 09 automatically imports the old domain file into the new version. I haven’t had much of a chance to play around with it but the only noticeable quirk I have seen is some of the font styles have changed a bit when looking at them in iWeb. I do not know yet if they will change when actually converted to html.

    Of course there is one downside and it is huge but probably expected.. If you are like me and do advanced HTML editing then you are completely screwed. DO NOT publish your iWeb site again using the new version until you have completely copied and backed up all the raw HTML modifications you have made. The new iWeb requires that you publish every single page again.

    So for people like me.. that means adding my CSS drop down menu code to 362 pages one by one on along with other fun things like drop down boxes and google search code. In other words.. If you don’t want to do this, don’t upgrade.. or wait until you have a reason to change all that code.. like you need to update your menu across the entire site.

    We’ll see if any other suprises are in store but overall this transition was a huge step up from the transition from iWeb 06 and it seems to have worked flawlessly.

    1. Brian,
      Thanks for the update. I haven’t received my pre-ordered copy of iLife 09 yet but have been following the iWeb 09 upgrade problems on the various forums. I can’t wait to give it a whirl. GOod luck on your CSS updates, I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.


  3. Hi Tim, how are you?
    Do you have any idea why can’t I find the iweb folder in the Application Support folder?
    Thanks a lot!

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